DUP now oppose IRA decommissioning…

DUP leader Ian Paisley’s bluff may have been well and truly called – the IRA might decommission on its own terms, thus killing off the issue of photograph evidence. Paisley said: “If the IRA does not fulfill its obligations as envisaged in the comprehensive agreement, then its refusal to meet these terms it will have very serious consequences.” The issue has been discussed on Slugger recently (well done Billy Pilgrim for your December 9, 2004 07:01 PM post)… maybe someone is reading after all!

The DUP is saying that the consequences are in terms of its level of support for the comprehensive agreement, but if the photos issue was killed off, the focus would be on paramilitary activity – what should have been regarded as the bigger prize anyway, to democrats.

In practical terms, I suspect that – if all this is even true – that it will mean the DUP insisting on a longer ‘decontamination period’ for the IRA to prove it has given up the gun. Looks like my prediction after the Assembly elections that we would have to wait until after the Westminster election for the restoration of the institutions will be proved right.

  • mickhall

    It has always been a mystery to me, why if the PIRA leadership had decided to decommission, they have not just got on and done it. They could have, if they wished produce photos or video of this happening, as it would not have been at the insistence of their enemies. Why have they put themselves and their core constituency through this farce of having to jump through one British/Unionist hoop after another, when they could have just gone ahead and decommissioned and that as far as they were concerned would have been that? Often the old way are the best ways. If they had dumped arms or decommissioned, whatever you wish to call it. Stood the army down and moved on. It would then be up to the politicians to cut a deal or not. One of the main failures of the GFA is that every thing needs to be tied up in a pretty bow, whereas real life is rarely like that.

  • Jimmy Sands

    This idea ia based on the assumption that the IRA is sincere. This may be flawed. If they are sincer and adopt this tactic it makes sense given the zero-sum logic that seems to apply here. Doing this a year ago would have made unionists happy, now it will make them unhappy and thereby it becomes acceptable.

  • JD

    This is getting nuttier by the day.

  • maca

    “the IRA might decommission on its own terms, thus killing off the issue of photograph evidence”

    “It has always been a mystery to me, why if the PIRA leadership had decided to decommission, they have not just got on and done it”

    This would seem (to me) to be the most obvious approach. No doubt the IRA have deicded to decommission, there is no other option anyway, so why not just get it done and ignore Paisleys bullshit. I fail to see the point of dragging it out. Get the job done and the issue closed, let the politicians slug it out then.

  • Millie

    There is of course the loyalist dimension to this whole problem, namely the IRA decommissioning before the DUP commit themselves to anything, and heavily armed loyalist groups in no hurry to reciprocate disposing of arms. Who’s to say the ‘decontamination period’ won’t be endlessly extended, say oh for about another 40 years… all it needs for the deadline to be continually reassessed is for the Chief Constable to declare every now and again that the IRA are involved in criminality, a highjacked lorry of fags here, a petrol scam there…compared to the white collar corruption of Blair and Ahern’s govts at least there’ll be something honest and reassuring about our elected reps and their dodgy associations! Let’s just get on with it, the bullshit can be sorted out later.

  • Davros

    It has always been a mystery to me, why if the PIRA leadership had decided to decommission, they have not just got on and done it.

    1)And with what would they have bargained ?
    2)They have consistently said what has been achieved has not been enough.They want to be able to justify their decommissioning by being seen to their supporters to have exchanged their weapons for “victories”.
    3) They still haven’t sorted out what to do with the volunteers- if they quit supporting themselves with crime,what do they do ? How long before we have SF asking for them to receive a pension and have their National Insurance Stamps back-dated ?

  • ShayPaul

    Davros

    And what if they just go away ?

    Is that transparent enough ?

    Surely not, the DUPes will say that the bogey men are still out there, everyone knows ye can ne trust a papist.

    And with Dr No to stoke the flames of sectarianism.

    Me thinks Unionism is gonna die a long lonely death.

    Time for some leadership in this place, when will the good men of this place, forget the sectarian bullshit and get on with building a better society ?

  • Davros

    Shay – they won’t just go away. That’s naive, no offence.They cannot just go away. They have to justify what they are doing by having been seen to win concessions. And then they have to find other things to do with their lives and other ways to make a living. I think you are still in love with the idea of Volunteers as being honourable men acting in pursuit of an ideal.

    Both Unionism and Nationalism are doomed. Globalisation and the EU have rendered them obsolete.

  • JD

    Davros,

    You’ve said similar things before, and while I agree in theory, I do think that in reality these things are a long way off. No matter the advances made to date, I don’t see sovereign states vanishing into a free trade zone any time soon.

    You’ve also previously mentioned “hybridity” as a new framework for identity: are you talking about Homi Bhabha’s definition?

  • Davros

    Along those lines JD. I can never spell his name 🙂

  • ShayPaul

    Have you seen that George Bush has ordered a new dog, she will arrive in January and will be called “Miss Paisley”.

    No kidding just saw it on the tele – someone has to blog this one.

  • JD

    Ok. Thanks Davros.

    My understnding of Bhabha’s hybridity is that it’s a very complicated mixture of deconstruction, performativity and colonial politics, which would seem to me to clash with the project of corporate globalisation.

    But maybe that’s just me.

  • ShayPaul

    Davros

    Your reply proves my point.

    Doesn’t matter what they do, you won’t believe it.

    Why do people believe Dr No ?

  • Davros

    My understnding of Bhabha’s hybridity is that it’s a very complicated mixture of deconstruction, performativity and colonial politics, which would seem to me to clash with the project of corporate globalisation.

    JD- I might just quote you on that in my next essay! LOL Add in a dash of Soja’s third space and we’re away!

  • Davros

    Shay, we have good reason to be suspicious. But if we move on, is it primarily a question of people believing Paisley or is it that he articulates what the man in the street is thinking in respect of the trustworthiness of the IRA and the current leadership of Sinn Féin ?

  • JD

    Quote away, but if you get a bad mark, I will disavow all knowledge of this conversation!

  • Davros

    Too late LOL Screenshot has been taken 😉

  • Davros

    p.s. I had a Slugger Link in a footnote earlier this year – I wonder if I’m the first to link Slugger to an essay ?

  • aquifer

    Ian you neglected to conclude a deal, however emotionally satisfying your rhetoric.
    The IRA are therefore still entitled to rely on the previous one, and to proceeed with decommissioning and to rely on its provisions.
    Too Bad Santa, no heavy metal pressies for the nice kids.
    Dry your eyes.
    Take care not to lose a vote by 72% to 28% or so next time.
    Merry Christmas and a flippy floppy New Year

  • JD

    Who has copyright of that screenshot? 😉

  • cg

    shay
    “ye can ne trust a papist”

    I didn’t know you could speak ulster scots 😉

  • Davros

    Who has copyright of that screenshot? 😉

    We would need to ask a lawyer – Lord knows there are plenty around, and even more mutating – but I would guess Uncle Mick 😉

  • AW

    There is nothing but gain for the DUP and SF from the collapse. They are guaranteed endless free coverage. This whole talks process has become totally debased and the governments (and the electorate here) are being taken for a ride. Perhaps it is time to consider a parallel process which widens the debate and which may perhaps lead to a wide consensus on future, different institutions that allow for progress without the institutionalised veto in the current set up. I can remember some warning that this would happen all those years ago. Government Ministers and Civil Servants did not take a blind bit of notice.

  • jonty

    The IRA have now got the DUP by the balls.
    If they do decommission and its witnessed by de chastelain and they allow an inventory to be made, where does that leave the DUP?

    The pressure from london,dublin ,washington will be on them to come up to the mark, to accept what they refused to accept and go into government.

    If this happens i cant see the DUP moving until paisley kicks the bucket.

  • Davros

    The IRA have now got the DUP by the balls.
    If they do decommission and its witnessed by de chastelain and they allow an inventory to be made, where does that leave the DUP?

    In a very strong position. They will have forced the IRA to decommission with minimal concessions.

  • jonty

    Davros the provos are going to do it anyway, this way they shaft Paisley and keep robinson and co out of power while getting all the credits from the 2 governments.

  • George

    Davros,
    what concessions can the IRA get from the DUP? They have nothing to offer.

    What influence do the DUP have in the corridors of power? Very little.

  • jonty

    Should the provos decommission now, even without photos, it will be because the british government have offered them something in return.

    the DUP will have lost their one reason for not going back to stormont, yet still find they cannot because of their demand for photos for acts which have already happened.

    Theyre screwed.

  • Davros

    George – the concessions for which SF have been negotiating 🙂

    IF the IRA do decommission it will be played as a Paisley victory. Most members of the unionist community didn’t think they would, and it will be seen that after years of Trimble concessions which didn’t result in the IRA decommissioning, a few months of Paisley negotiating has resulted in them decommissioning.

    Serves Adams and his colleagues right. If they hadn’t shafted Trimble who tried to play fair with them, we wouldn’t have a rampant Paisley. For me that’s one of the most unforgivable things SF have done.

  • willowfield

    I think the Provos have calculated that they’d rather have the raving Paisley as the leader of unionism, given that he presents such a bad image and makes them look good (or at least better than they did when they were dealing with Trimble).

    Personally, I find it an embarrassment to be represented by a Bible-thumping maniac – a curiosity figure in GB.

  • Davros

    Personally, I find it an embarrassment to be represented by a Bible-thumping maniac – a curiosity figure in GB.

    Fits in perfectly with Bush and Blair 😉

  • willowfield

    They manage their PR a bit better.

  • Davros

    That have more power 🙂

  • maca

    “Personally, I find it an embarrassment to be represented by a Bible-thumping maniac – a curiosity figure in GB”

    So you should Willow. He’s a dreaful creature. Trimble I had a certain amount of respect for but Paisley doesn’t warrant an iota of respect.

  • Davros

    I was going to say that you have Dana , but she’s one of ours as well LOL

  • John East Belfast

    Davros

    “Serves Adams and his colleagues right. If they hadn’t shafted Trimble who tried to play fair with them, we wouldn’t have a rampant Paisley. For me that’s one of the most unforgivable things SF have done.”

    totally agree.

    However I have to agree with Willowfield in that they don’t want moderate unionism in NI – it scares the shit out of them. Paisley is a much better opponent for them.

    “In a very strong position. They (dup) will have forced the IRA to decommission with minimal concessions.”

    must disagree there.

    I think the IRA were offering Paisley decommissioning on a plate (part of cunning plan above) but that scared the shit out of him. So it kind of backfired on the Provos.

    However if they do DC without a photograph then Paisley is left with nothing.

    To add to his long list of failed political objectives (other than replace UUP – with the help of IRA and he didn’t even see it)he can now add not over turning the Agreement and not getting what he called transparent DC.

    Decommissioning and the ending of physical force republicanism was really brought about over the last few years by Trimble and the UUP.

    Unfortunately, although this fact will not be lost on history, it will probably be over the head of the present day unionist electorate.

    I begrudgingly have to hand it to the Shinners.

  • maca

    “but she’s one of ours as well”

    Please take her back, she’s causing trouble down south!

  • Davros

    Hell Maca, there thousands like her still up here, and thousands upon thousands of the Proddy equivalents! 😀 D’you still want unification ?

    There’s a thought for the DUP – next time they go over the border hand out leaflets with pics of Dana and underneath – Thousands more still to come!

  • maca

    “Hell Maca, there thousands like her still up here, and thousands upon thousands of the Proddy equivalents! 😀 D’you still want unification ?”

    I’ll have to have a serious rethink. Here’s the deal, no more talk of a UI if ye take her back??

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    John,

    Very interesting point. If the IRA disarm and “stand down” (or as near as they can to that) and the IICD affirm that all the known weapons were destroyed, the DUP’s demand for photographs of decommissioning will change to being physically impossible to achieve. Are the DUP therefore going to say to the British government that there can’t be a deal with SF, ever ?

    It’s an interesting chess game, but I doubt the British government are going to give the IRA anything more just yet, and so I doubt the decommissioning thing is likely.

  • Davros

    We are in a lose-lose situation then ! Either way we end up with Dana!

  • Liam

    Davros

    They (Republicans) have to justify what they are doing by having been seen to win concessions.

    Concessions? This is the problem – and you will likely deny this, but you really do regard equality and the rights and entitlements contained in the GFA as ‘concessions’. It is not in the gift of Unionism to grant equality to Nationalists and Republicans. It is arrogant to even think so!

    “Serves Adams and his colleagues right. If they hadn’t shafted Trimble who tried to play fair with them, we wouldn’t have a rampant Paisley. For me that’s one of the most unforgivable things SF have done.”

    This is pure rubbish. I would remind you that ‘Adams and his colleagues’ were the only ones to keep their end of the deal made in October 2003! It was Trimble who ‘put the process on hold’ and reneged on his word. He gained nothing for that, destryoyed his party and suffered hugely electorally.

  • John East Belfast

    Roger

    “Are the DUP therefore going to say to the British government that there can’t be a deal with SF, ever ? “

    I believe they will – until the Unionist electorate eject them at the next election – therefore I think Robinson and co might see it differently

  • Davros

    Liam – equality and parity of esteem are very different to amnesty for OTR terrorists or dirtbags like the McCabe killers.

  • John East Belfast

    Liam

    Setting aside the photograph what has changed that the IRA are prepared to decommission now but weren’t prepared to do it 1 year ago.

    Then tell me something Trimble was not prepared to do 1 year ago that he is prepared to do now.

  • Davros

    I would remind you that ‘Adams and his colleagues’ were the only ones to keep their end of the deal made in October 2003!

    Which ‘colleagues’ are you talking about here ?

  • John East Belfast

    Liam

    Unless you can answer my 11.47 post you should withdraw your comments

    “I would remind you that ‘Adams and his colleagues’ were the only ones to keep their end of the deal made in October 2003! It was Trimble who ‘put the process on hold’ and reneged on his word.”

  • Davros

    Here’s what the BJP had to say :

    Photography – proof or prevarication?

    Must admit I like this letter from the Times 🙂

    Photo finish

    MR PAISLEY asked for a photograph but Mr Adams responded in the negative.

    Eamonn O’Gorman

    Is anybody else old enough to remember that, pre-digital, the highest quality 35 mm photograph was a transparency ?

  • maca

    http://www.breakingnews.ie/2004/12/15/story180619.html

    The DUP leader Ian Paisley has revealed that confidential sources which have been accurate in the past have told him the IRA may be about to go ahead and decommission its weapons.

    Mr Paisley has said however that unless this happens with independent witnesses and photographs, the rest of the two governments proposals that his party has signed up to will be at risk.

    He was speaking at Hillsborough, County Down after talks with the Northern Secretary and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

    “I want to make it clear that if the IRA does not perform it’s obligation as envisaged in the comprehensive agreement then it’s refusal to meet these terms will have very serous consequence in respect of the DUP’s attitude to other elements of the comprehensive agreement.”

  • James

    Any opinions about the possibility of the IICD and the PIRA just going ahead and destroying their weapons? Would the governments, now that we know that the “independent” in IICD is a farce, block it? Would the IICD chicken out on it’s own?

    Next, what does Sinn Fein have to gain with a functioning Stormont?

    Just wondering.

    Willow:

    “I think the Provos have calculated that they’d rather have the raving Paisley as the leader of unionism”

    Of course. And now they have captured him in full rave. Their problem is to keep him ranting and driving the middle class catholic vote to Sinn Fein.

    Do you recall during the assembly campaign when there were those jokes about the old man being packed away like Father Jack. The DUP pulled the same tactic that Bush did during our election by tucking away Rumsfeldt and Rice to present a kinder, gentler version of F Troop. And the marks fell for it.

    “Personally, I find it an embarrassment to be represented by a Bible-thumping maniac”

    Welcome to my world.

    Davros

    “Is anybody else old enough to remember that, pre-digital, the highest quality 35 mm photograph was a transparency ?”

    I still shoot Velvia in Ireland. (digitize on a LS4000) When they jacked the speed of Velvia up to 100 is really increased my flexibiliy, especially in telephoto shots.

  • willowfield

    Liam

    Concessions? This is the problem – and you will likely deny this, but you really do regard equality and the rights and entitlements contained in the GFA as ‘concessions’. It is not in the gift of Unionism to grant equality to Nationalists and Republicans. It is arrogant to even think so!

    What on earth are you talking about? There were no “rights” and “entitlements” contained in the GFA that weren’t already in place.

    I assume Davros is talking about things like the McCabe killers release, amnesty for “on-the-runs”, etc.

    This “equality” nonsense is ridiculous. You might be fooling gullible Americans, but we in Northern Ireland aren’t going to fall for it: we know the Provos weren’t murdering for “equality” and we know the GFA wasn’t about “equality”.

    This is pure rubbish. I would remind you that ‘Adams and his colleagues’ were the only ones to keep their end of the deal made in October 2003! It was Trimble who ‘put the process on hold’ and reneged on his word. He gained nothing for that, destryoyed his party and suffered hugely electorally.

    And what was this deal? How do you know the Provos kept their end of the deal? Spill the beans!

  • PS

    p.s. I had a Slugger Link in a footnote earlier this year – I wonder if I’m the first to link Slugger to an essay ?

    Davros

    Not at all, I had an entire case study on slugger in my media portfolio last year!

  • Butterknife

    Do you think the DUP are now wanting a merger with the Ulster Resistance and the IRA? Then people will say UR IRA.

  • Davros

    Paddy- doesn’t count as I wasn’t posting on slugger then! Did you mention Dana ? LOL

  • PS

    No, it was an analysis of slugger as a means of public participation in the media. Actually nowIi think about it, it was actually this year, but was last academic year for me, about May time.

  • cg

    Paddy
    get your coursework finished and stop talking to vets 😉

  • Davros

    If you are good Boys I’ll Scan an Exam Paper (Criminal Law) for third year student from Edinburgh 1977 – back when exams were much harder than today!

  • cg

    “If you are good Boys I’ll Scan an Exam Paper (Criminal Law) for third year student from Edinburgh 1977 – back when exams were much harder than today!”

    LOL
    I hate all of this rubbish about exams been easier now. These allegations are always made by grumpy old men. As a matter of interest Davros what age are you. 😉

  • Davros

    An incredibly handsome and youthful looking 49 – must be the Oil of Ulay 😉 Makes a great mixer with Vod!

  • cg

    “An incredibly handsome and youthful looking 49”

    LOL
    Bit of an oxymoron. How can you be hands some/ youthful and be almost fifty. 😉

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Shay,

    “Doesn’t matter what they do, you won’t believe it. Why do people believe Dr No ?”

    Just a few points…
    Marty said many times that he wasn’t in the Ra, but now admits he was.
    Gerry still says he was never in the Ra.
    When Frank Kerr was murdered by the Ra during a PO robbery in Newry just days after the Ra’s first ceasefire Gerry denied Ra involvement.
    SF insist the Direct action against drugs murders were nothing to do with the Ra.
    SF deny Ra drug dealing.
    SF deny Ra common criminality – fuel, alcohol, etc.
    The Ra said they’d nothing to do with Jean McConville and other victims who “disappeared” including more recently, Gareth O’Connor.

    It’s things like these that make unionists doubt SF’s words…

    On the Ra decommissioning to a position of strength –
    Does no one else think that once the weapons go and SF have to negotiate on the strength of their argument and mandate that that suggests a somewhat weaker position?
    The DUP will also still be able to argue for being shown the evidence, photographic or otherwise, of the destruction of the weapons unless they’re vapourised.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I’d just like to add that we’re all pretty much assuming that Dr Paisley’s source is actually correct.

    If the source is correct and their intention was to scupper a side deal between the British and the IRA, the result is that the DUP will reject IRA decommissioning on its own terms.

    However, this position would only be sustainable for a period of time – the DUP’s ‘decontamination period’. Should there be no IRA activity within that period, pressure will grow on the DUP to form a power sharing executive with SF.

    And since we have a pret a porter political deal sitting on the shelf and agreed by SF, the DUP and the two governments, that ‘decontamination period’ is likely to end, say, just after the Westminster election, once the DUP and SF have dispatched their electoral rivals.

    How VERY convenient all round.

  • peteb

    I’d just like to add that we’re all pretty much assuming that Dr Paisley’s source is actually correct.“?

    What’s this we business, Gonzo? 😉

  • Cathy Mckerr

    I would only like to ask WHY the DUP insist on a decontamination period.. it seems as if they are making more and more excuses not to join in the government with sinn fein

    It is clear the the IRA will do what has been initially asked in the GFA and furthermore they continure to make more “de” phrases to prolng direct rule!

    Does the people of Northern ireland (both nationalist and unionist) really want governed from Westminster where we as people have NO input to how we live our lives??

    I can easily say (as a neutral comment) that the DUp do not deserve the votes they have because they are preventing their own people from living fairly in NI

  • Cathy

    I would only like to ask WHY the DUP insist on a decontamination period.. it seems as if they are making more and more excuses not to join in the government with sinn fein

    It is clear the the IRA will do what has been initially asked in the GFA and furthermore they continure to make more “de” phrases to prolng direct rule!

    Does the people of Northern ireland (both nationalist and unionist) really want governed from Westminster where we as people have NO input to how we live our lives??

    I can easily say (as a neutral comment) that the DUp do not deserve the votes they have because they are preventing their own people from living fairly in NI

  • Cathy

    I would only like to ask WHY the DUP insist on a decontamination period.. it seems as if they are making more and more excuses not to join in the government with sinn fein

    It is clear the the IRA will do what has been initially asked in the GFA and furthermore they continure to make more “de” phrases to prolng direct rule!

    Does the people of Northern ireland (both nationalist and unionist) really want governed from Westminster where we as people have NO input to how we live our lives??

    I can easily say (as a neutral comment) that the DUp do not deserve the votes they have because they are preventing their own people from living fairly in NI